What is the Netgear R7000 Nighthawk?
This is Netgear’s long-awaited ‘AC1900 Wi-Fi’ rival to current top dogs in the market. I’m referring to the Linksys EA6900 and Asus RT-AC68U. I dare say “long-awaited” because this sassily named router was launched about the same time as its rivals in the US, but we have waited five months for it to appear in the UK and other parts of the world. So having had the biggest of build-ups is the R7000 worth the wait and what makes it really special?
- 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz & 5GHz WiFi
- 4x Gigabit Ethernet
- 1x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0
- WPS, WPA/WPA2 security
- VPN & FTP Server
Netgear R7000 Nighthawk – Design
Having been named like no other Netgear router and its unique design, it is somewhat apt the R7000 Nighthawk looks like no other Netgear router either. Without sounding tough or cruel, this is a good thing. Whereas Netgear’s routers are known for their sensible and functional designs, the R7000 comes with much-needed swagger and bravado that puts it in a class of its own.
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Featuring a sleek, angular lines and matte black finish that gives it that classy-like look that reminds one of something a Cylon might pilot and its three thick external antennas add an element of aggression that conveys Netgear means business. The build quality is solid and durable with the materials that it is made off. Weighing a surprising (750g) of matt black construction that at 285 x 184 x 50mm also makes for the widest router we’ve seen.
Netgear R7000 Nighthawk – Features
The R7000 isn’t short on features either. The obvious talking point with this router is the ‘AC1900’ branding which – like the EA6900 and RT-AC68U – means it is fitted with the Broadcom BCM4708A chipset. The big news about this chipset is it brings ‘Turbo QAM’ – a proprietary technology that boosts 802.11n 2.4GHz speeds from a previous theoretical maximum of 450Mbps to 600Mbps. When combined with the 1300Mbps theoretical maximum of 802.11ac you get the 1900Mbps figure only this trio of routers can claim.
Netgear isn’t prepared to just match its rivals on theory alone. More practically it raises the bar on their dual-core 800MHz ARM Cortex A9 processors clocking its own pair at 1GHz, making it the first router to break this milestone. Meanwhile, it packs the same 128MB of native flash memory and 256MB of RAM.
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